Amazon Is Ending Drone Deliveries in California, Eyes Arizona Expansion

By John Lopez

Apr 22, 2024 02:36 PM EDT

Amazon is discontinuing drone delivery operations in Lockeford, California, marking the end of one of the first US test sites for the ambitious Prime Air project (via CNBC). 

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos launched Prime Air in 2013 with much fanfare, aiming to elevate package delivery technology with autonomous drones capable of delivering items weighing less than 5 pounds in under 30 minutes.

Despite initial excitement, Prime Air has faced numerous challenges, struggling to gain traction over the last decade. The program experienced setbacks ranging from regulatory issues to executive departures and layoffs. 

Amazon's Drone Delivery Is Coming to Arizona

However, Amazon has not abandoned its vision for drone deliveries. Instead, it is focusing on expansion, with Arizona emerging as the next frontier for its drone delivery ambitions.

In a recent blog post, Amazon stated that it intends to continue expanding the Prime Air program, with plans to expand drone deliveries to more US cities by 2025. 

The company announced its upcoming expansion into Arizona's West Valley of the Phoenix Metro Area. This expansion will see drones deployed from facilities near Same-Day Delivery sites in Tolleson, Arizona, seamlessly integrating drone deliveries into Amazon's existing infrastructure.

Amazon's new MK30 Prime Air drone is displayed during Amazon's "Delivering the Future" event at the company's BFI1 Fulfillment Center, Robotics Research and Development Hub in Sumner, Washington on October 18, 2023.
(Photo : (Photo by Jason Redmond / AFP))

READ MORE: Amazon Ditches Self-Checkout Tech Over Privacy Risks, Other Issues

The decision to expand drone operations in Arizona coincides with Amazon's ongoing efforts to innovate and streamline its delivery services. The company has been conducting test flights to demonstrate the reliability of its new delivery drone, the MK30, which has higher efficiency and performance than previous models. 

Community leaders in Arizona have welcomed Amazon's expansion plans, citing the potential economic benefits and technological advancements. 

Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix hailed the shift towards zero-emission package delivery as a step towards reducing local pollution and positioning the city as a hub for cutting-edge technology.

READ NEXT: Jeff Bezos Is $3.3 Billion Richer After Amazon Stock Hits All-Time High

© 2024 VCPOST, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics